Puma Rebounds in Q3, Reflecting Activewear’s Resilience

Reflecting the resilience of activewear amid heightened health and wellness concerns, Puma said third-quarter sales

Reflecting the resilience of activewear amid heightened health and wellness concerns, Puma said third-quarter sales bounded 13.3 percent to 1.58 billion euros.

Back in June, Puma chief executive Bjørn Gulden was already predicting an upturn, and he was proven right by the figures.

“The third quarter developed much better than I expected,” Gulden said in a statement on Wednesday. “Retail stores reopened, sports events resumed, consumer confidence improved and our sales increased week by week.”

Analysts say the sporting goods sector has proven more crisis-proof than most because of consumers’ increased focus on health and fitness and a willingness to order these kinds of goods online. Other activewear brands have also profited from this trend.

Puma’s rise in sales came mostly from the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region and from North America, with these both posting growth – currency-adjusted – of 17.7 and 20.7 percent respectively. In Asia-Pacific, sales declined 1.9 percent with the company blaming slower sales in greater China, India, Korea and Southeast Asia for this decline.

Puma had already made 223 million euros worth of direct-to-consumer sales online over the first half of the year and this trend toward e-commerce has continued, albeit at a slightly slower rate. Online sales grew 97.1 percent in the second quarter versus 60.9 percent in the third. Puma’s online sales have increased 66.5 percent over the course of the last nine months.

Other positive news came via Puma’s EBIT – earnings before interest and tax and an important measure of a company’s profitability. These rose 16.8 percent in Q3 to hit 189.5 million euros, compared to 162.2 million euros over the same period last year. The company said that it had achieved this result through strict cost control and by making marketing more efficient.

For the nine months, the German firm reported revenues eased 5.1 percent to 3.71 billion euros while EBIT plunged 62.1 percent to 145.9 million euros.

In a statement, Puma said it was confident about mid-term development of the brand. However, it did not provide financial guidance for the rest of the year. “October started well, but the recent development of COVID-19 and the number of infections we are seeing globally make us cautious for the rest of year,” the statement said. “Uncertainty for the fourth quarter remains very high.”

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